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Today's Headlines USA

  • Bali Package Important Step for the WTO's Doha Development Round

    Bali Package Important Step for the WTO's Doha Development Round

    After two long days of intense negotiations, Director of the World Trade Organization Roberto Azevedo announced that the discussions have resulted in the Bali declaration on Saturday morning (07/12). The agreement between the participants were put in 10 documents, known as the Bali Package, and cover trade facilitation (trade liberalizations), agriculture, cotton and development. Azevedo stressed the importance of the agreement when he said "[for the] first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered."

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  • Indonesia's Economic Growth in 2014: Growing or Slowing?

    Despite the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) having revised down their forecasts for Indonesia's economic growth in 2014, the Center for Economic and Public Policy Studies (Pusat Studi Ekonomi dan Kebijakan Publik) expects that the country's economy will grow stronger in 2014 than this year. In 2014, the World Bank and IMF expect Indonesia's gross domestic product to grow 5.4 percent and 5.5 percent respectively. Both estimates are 0.2 percent down from their GDP growth forecasts for the year 2013.

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  • Indonesia Continues Quest to Put Palm Oil and Rubber on APEC EG List

    The government of Indonesia will be firm to convince the international community at the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to place crude palm oil (CPO) - including its derivative products - and rubber on the APEC Environmental Goods List (EG List). In the APEC ministerial meeting in Surabaya (East Java), last April, Indonesia failed to include these products on the list. However, the government will continue its lobby during the current APEC meeting by stressing that these products are environmentally friendly.

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  • Indonesia Will Be the World's Fifth most Populous Country by 2050

    Indonesia Will Be the World's Fifth most Populous Country by 2050

    The Institute of Demographic Studies released a report which claims that by the year 2050, the world population will increase to 9.7 billion from the current number of 7.1 billion. India is expected to become the most populous country, surpassing China. At the end of this century the number of people on earth will amount to around 10 or 11 billion. A report of the United Nations, released in June, suggests that by 2050 the total number of people that is 60 years of age or older will amount to two billion (from 841 million currently).

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  • Federal Reserve Continues Quantitative Easing at US $85 Billion a Month

    Despite widespread speculation that the Federal Reserve would tone down its quantitative easing program (QE3) by approximately USD $10 to $20 billion after the FOMC meeting on Wednesday (18/09), the central bank of the USA decided to continue its monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program as it downgraded its outlook for US economic growth to between 2.0 and 2.3 percent. Chairman Bernanke said that the economic context of the USA is still far from conducive to alter its strategy.

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  • Indonesia Expects Influx of 100 Foreign Franchises in 2013

    Attracted by the promising prospects of Indonesia's domestic consumption (with per capita GDP rising strongly), a total of about 100 foreign franchises will enter the Indonesian market in 2013. The most popular investment destination of these franchises is Indonesia's culinary sector. The majority of franchises originate from the United States. Others include those from South Korea, Japan, Australia and Europe. In 2013 so far, more than 170 foreign franchises received approval from the government.

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  • G20 Summit Russia: Indonesia within the G20 Group of Major Economies

    The G-20 summit in St Petersburg (Russia), which is held on Thursday (05/09) and Friday (06/09), is not expected to result in unanimous support for a military action against Syria as China and Russia are opposing strongly to such an action. Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated that Indonesia takes the middle road regarding the Syria-case. Apart from Syria, other topics that are discussed include the possible ending to the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program, global economic growth and financial stability.

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  • IMF: Change in Global Dynamics, Emerging versus Developed Economies

    On Wednesday (04/09), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report that describes a change in the current global economic dynamic as developed economies are showing signs of recovery, while growth in emerging markets is slowing down. These two developments are interrelated because stagnating developed economies from the late 2000s meant that investors started to look for lucrative assets in rapidly-growing emerging markets, including Indonesia.

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  • Indonesia's Crude Palm Oil Export Duty Lowered to 9% in September 2013

    The government of Indonesia will lower the export duties on crude palm oil (CPO) from 10.5 percent in August to 9 percent in September if the CPO price continues to stay between USD $800-850 per ton. This lower tax policy is done in order to stimulate export revenues amid persistent weak global commodity prices. The international palm oil market is expected to remain stagnant in August and September. Stockpiles of CPO in Malaysia and Indonesia are projected to rise between September and December 2013.

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  • Indonesia's Consumer Confidence Falls in July because of Rising Inflation

    According to a Bank Indonesia report that was released on Monday (19/08), consumer confidence in Indonesia has weakened after the government decided to raise prices of subsidized fuels in June 2013. The country's consumer confidence index fell 8.7 points to 108¹ in July from 117 points in June. Higher fuel prices led to higher transportation costs that subsequently made many retailers increase prices of products, thus impacting on Indonesian households' purchasing power. In July, the annual inflation rate accelerated to 8.61 percent.

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Latest Columns USA

  • Recovery Continues: Indonesia's Stock Index (IHSG) Gains 1.92%

    Asian stock indices were up on Thursday (27/06) after economic growth of the United States in Q1-2013 was lower than expected. Paradoxically, this had a positive effect on global stock indices as speculation arose that the disappointing growth rate would convince the Federal Reserve to continue its quantitative easing program. It also had a good affect on Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG), which gained 1.92 percent and ended at 4,675.75. The index was well on its way to close a gap (at 4,743-4,801) but was blocked by mixed European openings.

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  • Recovery on the Indonesia Stock Exchange: IHSG Index up 3.82 Percent

    It has been a long time since we have reported a good day at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). But finally on Wednesday (26/06) Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) made a great jump upwards, supported by American and European stock indices that were up on Tuesday (25/06) due to positive economic data from the United States. Investors used this positive context to engage in stock trading. Moreover, Indonesia's stocks are currently - technically speaking - cheap and thus attractive.

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  • Indonesia Stock Index (IHSG) Extends its Losing Streak on Monday

    Apparently the stormy and dark clouds above the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) are still present. Most foreign investors continued to sell their Indonesian assets, resulting in another day of losses for the main stock index of Indonesia (IHSG). Not even clarity about the price hike of subsidized fuel could ease investors' minds (fuel prices were increased last Saturday after months of speculation). For the last two weeks negative sentiments have coloured the stock exchange and profit taking has been the result.

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  • Indonesia's main Stock Index (IHSG) after Ben Bernanke's Speech

    Similar to the Jakarta Great Sale event, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) trades its stocks at low prices as foreign investors have sold large parts of their Indonesian stock assets in recent weeks. Last week, foreign investors sold IDR 4.9 trillion (about USD $492.4 million), meaning that this year's accumulated foreign net buying has evaporated. Will these sales continue? Yes, I think so. Foreigners have invested about IDR 144 trillion in Indonesia's capital markets between 2007 and Q1-2013. As such, there is still plenty to sell.

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  • Another Day of Losses for Indonesia's Main Stock Index (IHSG)

    On Friday's trading day (21/06), Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) was still under the spell of the unrest that emerged because of Ben Bernanke's announcement of a possible stop to the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program in 2014. Moreover, weak manufacturing data from China also continued to cause negative market sentiments. The IHSG fell 2.48 percent to 4,515.37, its lowest closing since 11 February 2013. Foreign investors sold about USD $228 million more stocks than they bought.

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  • Impact of Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing on Indonesia's IHSG

    On Wednesday (19/06), Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) posted a 0.70 percent fall to the level of 4,806.66 points as foreign investors continued to sell more Indonesian stocks than they bought. Moreover, the IHSG did not receive any support from the Asian region, where most stock indices weakened. Similar to Europe and the United States, Asian markets were eagerly waiting for results of the meeting of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday evening and thus mostly refrained from trading during the day.

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  • Small Gain for the IHSG Despite Uncertainty about Subsidized Fuel Price

    Despite weakening stock indices in the United States on Friday (14/06), most Asian indices were up on Monday (17/06) and impacted positively on the main index of Indonesia (IHSG). On the other hand, market participants are still waiting for the outcome of the plenary session of Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) regarding the approval of the increase in the price of subsidized fuel. The market is speculating that the price increase will be approved even though a number of political parties oppose the plan.

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  • Two Important Questions in Indonesia's Highly Volatile Market

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) moved wildly last week. During the first two days of the week, the index fell to 4,609.95 points, which is considerably below its record high level of 5,214 on 20 May 2013. However, on the last trading day of the week (14/06), a 3.32 percent recovery occurred. Generally, it were domestic market participants that supported the IHSG. Foreign market participants continued to sell parts of their Indonesian stock portfolios. Total foreign selling totaled IDR 9 trillion (USD $910.4 million) last week.

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  • Strong Rebound in Indonesia's IHSG, BI Rate Hike Well-Received

    On Friday (14/06), the main stock index of Indonesia (IHSG) jumped 3.32 percent to 4,760.74 points as financial market participants were optimistic about the effects of the higher central bank interest rate that was announced the day before. Moreover, Indonesia's IHSG was supported by a green wave across Asian stock markets, which was partly due to a strong rebound in markets in the United States on Thursday (13/06). Stocks in Indonesia's banking and property sectors were the top-gainers on Friday's trading day.

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  • Indonesia Stock Exchange Falls Amid Domestic and International Concerns

    Indonesia Stock Market Analysis IHSG 13 June 2013 RMA van der Schaar - Richard van der Schaar

    On Thursday (13/06), Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) could not continue the recovery it had shown on the previous day. The index fell 1.92% to 4,607.66 points amid international and domestic concerns. Investors are worried about central banks' policies and the World Bank's downgrade of global economic growth in 2013. On the domestic side, negative sentiments were brought on by the fuel subsidy issue (and its inflationary impact), the weakening rupiah, the BI rate hike, falling foreign exchange reserves, and the trade deficit.

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